ESLs: Speaking Assessment

ESLs: Speaking Assessment


Conducting speaking assessments can be efficient and engaging when you discuss topics your students are interested in.

In this post, I will share a speaking assessment model I use with my English language learners.

Needs Assessment for Oral Skills Instruction

Learner Profile

Forty-five Grade 10 ELL students in a Chinese high school, international department.

For this activity, I provided each student with a questionnaire to assess the four language domains: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This questionnaire was designed so I could get to know the students and also have them complete a self-assessment. 

Student Questionnaire

My student questionnaire included the following questions:

  1. My hometown
  2. Number of people in my family
  3. Things I like to do when I am not in school
  4. My favourite English movie
  5. My favourite English book
  6. My favourite English song
  7. The sports and and games I like
  9. In English class I want to learn


Once the students completed their questionnaire and we discussed their speaking proficiency, I compiled the data into a spreadsheet and created worksheets with English statements for my lesson about how to explain pie charts and data. 

I found this method to be interesting and engaging as the data was based on the students’ responses so they were invested in the topic for learning English statements. 

This video is the lesson following the needs assessment in class and is focused on speaking:

This is the English language statements we worked on for explaining pie charts:

Explaining Charts

Useful words for pie charts:

Match the words with the pictures below.

  • Slice/share- small part of the pie graph that does not show a number value.
  • A quarter- equals to 25% of the pie graph
  • The majority- more than 50% of the pie graph
  • A minority- less than 25% of the pie graph

Introducing a pie chart:

Step 1: Introduce the chart

  • This pie chart shows…..
  • This is a pie chart showing…..
  • This pie chart illustrates…..  (more formal)

Step 2: Give an overview of the slices

Match the sentences below with the charts.

  • As you can see, the chart is divided into ___________ slices.
  • It’s clear that the easiest English skill is _______________.
  • As you can see here, the class is confident in two skills.

Giving details

……… makes up XX% of…..

……… accounts for XX% of……..

Further Reading

Learner Checklists

ELP Checklist

Generic Checklists


Teaching with the SIOP Model


If you are an educator, parent, or grandparent and looking for practical strategies to use with children, concepts to understand, and ideas that can be easily implemented about how to create space for self and others, you have landed in the right spot.

Start Here

Children learn how to solve problems the same way they learn how to read, write, and add. Like reading, writing, and adding, there are three specific components to solving problems. These are teachable skills children can learn at any age.


GENERIC CHECKLISTS FOR USE IN ELPs DESIGNED FOR LANGUAGE LEARNERS AGED 15+ European Language Portfolio Templates and Resources Language Biography. (n.d.).

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